G.I. BLOWS

31 Mar

spring-breakers-Vanessa-Hudgens-Selena-Gomez-Ashley-Benson-Rachel-Korine-2

1. G.I. Joe: Retaliation/Paramount            Wknd/$ 41.2               Total/$   51.7

2. The Croods/Fox                                        Wknd/$ 26.5               Total/$  88.6

3. Tyler Perry’s Temptation/LGF              Wknd/$ 22.3               Total/$  22.3

4. Olympus Has Fallen/FD                         Wknd/$ 14.0                Total/$  54.7

5. Oz The Great & Powerful/ Disney         Wknd/$ 11.6                 Total/$198.3

6. The Host/ORF                                           Wknd/$  11.0                Total/$   11.0

7. The Call/TriStar                                         Wknd/$   4.8                Total/$  39.5

8. Admission/Focus                                       Wknd/$   3.3                Total/$   11.8

9. Spring Breakers/A24                                 Wknd/$   2.8                Total/$   10.1

10. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone          Wknd/$   1.3                Total/$  20.6

G.I. JOKE

G.I. Joe: Retaliation opens at number one and action movies and romantic comedies are like porn and pizza: they seem deceptively relatively easy to make until you realize just how much of it out there sucks and you then realize maybe it’s not so easy to do after all.  G.I. Joe: Retaliation drives this home because it has everything you’d think an action movie needs to succeed: big stars, a decent budget and a built in audience and narrative.  Even the sheer “we’re about as grounded in reality as a cartoon” stupidity of the first film has being totally jettisoned along with most of its annoying cast, save Channing Tatum.  However, the MVP in an action film is always its director, not its star.  The Fugitive is one of the dumbest movies ever written, but Andrew Davis is a great action director who knows how to keep a film moving over all obstacles. Let me put it this way: he’s the man who made Steven Segal a star.  John M. Chu, however, is no Andrew Davis and in addition to attention-deficit action scenes (STOP WITH THE CUTTING ALREADY) looses focus overall and allows it to split into two films. One a para-military action film the other a ninja flick and honestly the ninja one is more interesting, but guess what which G.I. Joe ultimately wants to be?  But most of all it commits the greatest sin any action film can: it’s a tad boring.  For the final half hour where the good guys finally mount their forces to issue the “retaliation” of the title the speed of the film should kick into high gear, but honestly it feels like it slows down. Not to mention it has no sense of humor about what it is, given it’s filled with characters named Roadblock, Mouse and Snake Eyes.  Only Jonathan Pryce as the villain who’s assumed the identity of the president seems to understand what this film needs to be in order to succeed and embraced the fact that what he’s doing is ridiculous.

CHICK VOICES RULE!

The Croods is down to number two and both Ryan Reynolds and Nicholas Cage needed one in the win column like nobody’s business, while the women, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener and Cloris Leachman are all doing just fine, thank you very much.

TYLER PERRY’S LASTEST ASSAULT ON THE MEDIUM OF FILM

Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor (what the hell is up with that title!?!) opens at number three giving us basically our third cartoon in a row.  Clearly Perry’s recent stumbles (Alex Cross was named one of the worst films of 2012) have sent him scurrying back to his bread and butter and his audience has been there waiting for him, unwilling to following him to mainstream Hollywood productions. Good. The man is as horrible in front of the camera as he is behind it.  As much as I didn’t care for the Star Trek reboot, his appearance actually made me like it even less.  He puts the threat in triple threat (bad actor, bad writer, bad director). Actually it’s quadruple, because he’s a producer too, but he keeps making money to make more films so he’s actually good at that part, unfortunately.  I’d just as soon be beaten naked in the streets than sit through his little Christian morality plays.  The bruises and humiliation of that will fade. This crap will scar you for life.  And nothing sums up better how low rent on every level this is than the presence of Kim Kardashian.  Did Kanye promise a song for the soundtrack if they cast her or something?

AS SIMPLE AS A-B-STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM KATHERINE HEIGL

Olympus Has Fallen is down to number four and after G.I. Joe: Retaliation I have new respect for how this silly film still managed to do its job.  But no one appreciates this more than Gerard Butler who along with his management lacks the common sense god gave a paper boat in a stream.  It knows enough to go with the flow.  Butler does not and neither does anyone taking 10%. If, after years of supporting above-the-title stars like Angelina Jolie and Christian Bale you score a hit in an action film, THEN YOU MAKE MORE ACTION FILMS.  See, when you have half a dozen successful action films, then you can make the occasional drama, romantic comedy, family film, um, musical and it won’t matter if it fails of not and you’ll get some praise for trying to diversify.  Butler, however, followed 300 eight years ago with seriously bad dramas, romantic comedies, family films and yes, Phantom of the Opera.  Basically he’s a B-list Russell Crowe.  Even as  late of last year he was still trying with twin flops Chasing Mavericks—because what the world really wanted was a surfing bio pic—and Playing For Keeps along with Jessica Biel who is one more flop away from simply be known as Mrs. Justin Timberlake and nothing else.  You’ve got a second chance here, Gerry. Don’t blow it again.  Let me put it this way: they wouldn’t even put your face on the poster for this movie.

HE’D BE PERFECT FOR GQ THE MOVIE

Oz The Great & Powerful is down to number five, followed by The Host at number six and this would be the first Andrew Niccol film I’ve never seen, but I was put off by the fact this comes from the writer (and I use that term loosely) of the Twilight films.  Combining a director who could care less about story as much as he does making every film look like a live-action fashion shoot with someone who really can’t write a story is not a good idea.  I’m sure he thought it’d be a much-needed hit for him but this goes on the pile with all the young adult novels that have tried in vain to cash in on Twilight over the past few years, something not even its creator can do apparently.

THEY’RE NOT GOING TO BUY THE COW IF THEY GET THE NAKED MILK FOR FREE

The Call is down to number seven, followed by Admission at number eight and Spring Breakers at number nine and with a $5M budget, Spring Breakers has already doubled it, which qualifies as a modest success and no one is happier than Vanessa Hudgens, who was seconds away from “accidentally” having a sex tape released to make sure everyone knows she’s no longer some Disney kid, because clearly her first “accidental” nude photo didn’t do it and was followed by a seriously explicit second “accidental” release, which got the worst result possible: public indifference.  Her ambition is literally naked and has sadly been rewarded with movies like Beastly and Sucker Punch. You know who was also a child actor who is being taken seriously as an adult actor without nude pictures “accidentally” being released or making allegedly “edgy” films with sex and violence?  Jennifer Lawrence. She just gives good performances.  Just a thought.

LET’S JUST PRETEND THIS DIDN’T HAPPEN

Finally, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone closes out the top ten putting us all out of our misery.

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